Veterans for Secure Borders

Open Nafta Borders? Why Not?

Article by Robert L. Bartley, Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2001

... We annually celebrate the Fourth of July with a paean to immigration, the force that tamed this vast continent and built this great Republic. This is not simply history; immigration continues to refresh and nourish America; we would be better off with more of it. Indeed, during the immigration debate of 1984 we suggested an ultimate goal to guide passing policies--a constitutional amendment: "There shall be open borders."

The naysayers who want to limit or abolish immigration look backward to a history they do not even understand....

...Today the GOP is led by George W. Bush, who told campaign audiences "family values do not stop at the Rio Grande." The employer sanctions in the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli bill are now recognized as windmill tilting. Congress has repeatedly raised the limits on H-1B visas for engineers and such, to 195,000 a year from an original 65,000. Last week the U.S. Supreme Court twice held that aliens are people too, entitled to such basic rights as the presumption of innocence, petty 1996 legislation notwithstanding....

There is no realistic way to stop the resulting flow of people--certainly no way that would be acceptable to the American conscience....

Sealing the border against people willing to risk death is not a practical option, let alone a morally attractive one. The only hope is to manage the flow of people in a constructive and humane way. As President Fox says, "By building up walls, by putting up armies, by dedicating billions of dollars like every border state is doing to avoid migration, is not the way to go."

Item one in any agenda to ease border problems would be rapid economic development to provide opportunity within Mexico...

North of the border, the solution to the problem of illegal immigration is to make it legal, or at least to normalize the movement of people....

Laws and regulations can generally be made more generous. The 1996 Border Patrol expansion is a dubious expense, expanding a cops-and-robbers game that sometimes turns deadly. immigrants already here.

Another amnesty for undocumented aliens is already in the air...

Read the complete article.